Wednesday, December 22, 2004

God’s gift of life

God’s gift of life

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 11:30 PM

For almost 40 years now, I have been writing columns about Christmas. I must admit that it gets more and more difficult to find new dimensions to a holiday that is so important and that comes around every year.

Not this time. The theme popped into my mind very quickly. It all about life. The birth of the Christ Child reminds me of God’s great gift to us: Life. Every day I thank God for the gift of life. Every day at our Nazareth House, the residents pray: “Thank You, Lord, for another day.”

The gift of life is one that we often take for granted. We wake up in the morning and without giving a thought to God, much less thank Him for giving us another day, we rush off and do our thing.

This morning, I woke up early and went out onto the veranda of our home in Batangas to write. The air was cool. The people here say it’s cold. I say it’s cool because I come from the state of New Hampshire where winter is very cold. Winter here in the Philippines is cool, but not cold if you are a New Englander. Still, my favorite time of the year is now when we get wonderful relief from the maddening heat and humidity. If only it could be like this year round!

The flowers are in full bloom. Roses and different kinds of blossoms (I like to collect flowering pants) are all over my veranda where I keep my favorites. Off to the left of the swimming pool, tall stands of bamboo creak as they sway in the stiff breeze. If you’re superstitious you might think that there are ghosts roaming about the property. But I’m not, so, for me, the creaking bamboo is music to my ears.

It feels so good to be alive. I feel the love of family and friends. Life is good. God is here and can be seen in the beauty of nature and the love of those around me.

For me, Christmas is a celebration of life. The coming of the Lord, His birth, new life, are signs of our salvation. The birthday of Jesus should inspire us to appreciate the day the sun rose and we discovered the Christ among us.

We should also be reminded to thank the Almighty for showing us the light of day, for allowing us into this world and for the promise of a new life after this one.

We all have our problems that often cause us to look at life with dark glasses. The stresses and tensions that are inevitable as we walk the road of life can distract us from the beauty that life has to offer.

On this day, let us thank the Christ Child for being born among us. And let’s thank Him for the gift of our own life.


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